Parenting

The terrible 4 month regression

Even before Declan was born, I had decided I was going to put him on a schedule. I wanted Declan to be able to sleep through the night as soon as possible.

So once Declan was born that is what I did. I had heard things about this 4-month regression, but I thought this would not happen to me. I am the kind of person that if there is 1% of chance of going the right way. I am going to be that 1%. Unfortunately, much of the time I am not that 1%. This was one of those times.

At around 3 and a half months Declan started to wake up a little before usual. Not during naps, but during the night. On the third night, Declan did what I feared the most. At around 3:30 am he woke up and could not put himself back to sleep. HE WAS HUNGRY.

I had heard many things like once the four months regression hit they cant sleep through the night again. The four months regression is going to mess up your schedule. He is getting ready for solids and breastfeeding is not enough anymore. I was determined that I was going to sleep through the night again.

First, let me tell you what the sleep regression is. The four months sleep regression is not a sleep regression. Your baby is going through a lot during this time. They are learning to sleep in a pattern that is more like an adult pattern. Yes, your baby is trying to get ready for solids, but that does not mean milk is not enough.

So let me tell you how to kick sleep regression in thetushy and have a successful transition.

  • Learn why your baby is waking up at night.

Declan was waking up because of hunger. He was so hungry in the middle of the night that he had to eat. Other babies might wake up because they haven’t learned how to transition from the light sleep to the deep sleep on their own. That is why it is so important to let your baby cry for a while before getting them.

Learning why your baby is crying is crucial for you to be able to get your baby to sleep through the night again.

  • Once you know the why learn how to reverse.

I had to figure it out why Declan was getting so hungry in the middle of the night. I realized that he wasn’t eating very much during the day. Every time I would feed him it was like he wasn’t very hungry. He would eat enough to hold him off till the next feeding, but he wasn’t eating extra calories.

He was always trying to pay attention to what I was doing, or if my husband were next to me and would talk, Declan would stop eating to pay attention to his dad’s voice.

  • Act on it.

Parenting is trial and error. So you might do something and realize that doesn’t work and you have to try something different. That’s ok!

At first, I thought since Declan is not getting enough calories maybe I need to feed him closer together. That way he will eat more and get the calories he needs. I didn’t that for one day and realized that was not it.

Declan was not hungry at all when I would feed him, and he just wanted to play and laugh with me. It was super cute but super frustrating. Declan was not getting fed, and he was only snacking.

My next option sounded like it would be even worse of an idea, but it was the perfect strategy. I started to wait longer to feed him. Declan ate every 3.5h now I was feeding him every four hours. The logic behind this is the 3.5 hours was not enough to get Declan hungry, so he would snack. Once I would wait the 4 hours he would get a full meal.

He was eating more each feeding, but less often.

Ok! So you told me if my baby was hungry what to do what if she doesn’t know how to go back to sleep.

Let’s go back to point 2 and 3.

  • Once you know the why learn how to reverse.

Maybe your baby is waking up, and the moment you take her out of the crib and holds her she goes back to sleep. Now you know she doesn’t know how to go back to sleep on her own. When your baby goes from light sleep to deep sleep most likely, she will kind of wake up. She might even whine a little, but if she knows how to go back to sleep it won’t take long, and she will be right back to sleep.

However, if your baby doesn’t know how to do that she will wake herself up and cry.

  • Act on it.

When I was teaching Declan to sleep one of the things, I started doing was. The moment he would start to whine I would check him on my baby monitor I wanted to make sure he was ok, and then I would put a timer on my phone. I was willing to let him whine for 30 min. I will be honest it never took him 30 min.

If my times went off and he was still whining, I would get up and check on him. Thankfully I never had to do the second part because he was always able to go back to seep on his own.

When the “sleeping regression” started, I knew he was hungry because when he would wake up in the middle of the night he wasn’t whining he was crying. So for me, that meant I need to do something.

I think I am in the middle of never letting your baby cry and allowing your baby to cry all the time. I don’t like letting Declan cry, but if he is whining, I do think it is important to let him find contentment on his own.

I hope this was resourceful to you and it helps you in your parenting journey.

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